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Professional Zen Cart Support

Link your phpList newsletter to your Zen Cart shop

Zen Cart is an online shop, not a newsletter system.
The newsletter function built into Zen Cart is not suitable for shops with a large number of customers since it sends emails all in one go. That becomes a problem at least by the time that there are about 1,000 customers since few providers permit so many emails at once.
Moreover, there is no double opt-in function and the design options for a beautiful HTML newsletter are limited.

If you want to work with a newsletter in earnest, you should use a system that specialises in newsletters.

Here it is not necessary to outsource the newsletter function to external providers. Mailchimp, for instance, is of course a very powerful tool. But perhaps you don’t want to give out your customer data and leave it lying around on third party servers.
Nor do you necessarily have to pay ongoing charges for operating a newsletter system.
If you are already using a professional web hoster e.g. All-Inkl. for your Zen Cart shop, you can also run your own newsletter system on that.

My recommendation and the standard in the open source sector for this is phpList.
It meets all the legal requirements and the emails are sent in waves, so emails sent to even thousands of addresses are possible without problems via an SMTP server.

Just like Zen Cart, phpList is available free of charge and may itself be hosted.

Once the system has been set up, it is easy to link it to Zen Cart.
The newsletter function built into Zen Cart is completely removed.
Upon registration in the shop (or when initiating orders without a customer account) the customer can still tick to indicate whether he wants to receive the newsletter.
Unlike with a normal Zen Cart standard installation where the customer only has to enter yes/no for the newsletter in the customer data, after linking he is automatically entered into the phpList newsletter system in the background and he receives an email in which he is asked to confirm subscription by clicking on a confirmation link (double opt-in).
In the customer account in Zen Cart, the option for unsubscribing from the newsletter is removed. Unsubscribing is achieved purely via phpList, whose newsletter emails of course contain an unsubscribe link.
Regardless of registration, a link for subscribing to the newsletter may of course also be built in for guests in the shop.

Do you already use phpList and would you like to link it with your Zen Cart shop?

Are you currently not issuing a newsletter via Zen Cart or are you not satisfied with the Zen Cart newsletter function?

If you are interested in phpList installation and integration into Zen Cart, please use the contact form.